The Easter break is traditionally high time for Australian families to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities for the relative calm of the outdoors.
With the delight of a four-day weekend firmly on the mind of workers in the dying hours of this short working week, plans could be made or broken by the state of the weather.
In unfortunate news for some, the nation’s major centres are dishing up a mixed bag of summery bliss and wintery chill and rain.
Some Australians will have the luxury of a last-minute bake before autumn truly sets in, while others will need to run for their winter woolies.
If you’re wondering whether it will be safe to leave a heaving pile of Easter chocolates out in the open for the traditional Sunday egg hunt, here’s the outlook for the next four days.
New South Wales
Sydney is in for an unseasonably warm Easter weekend, with maximum temperatures of 25 degrees throughout the four days, boosted by relatively unblemished skies.
Every bunny wants to know what weather to eggspect over #Easter! 🐰🐣🍫 There'll be showers along the northern coast (sorry #bluesfest) but warm & mostly dry conditions for the rest of the State. Hop to https://t.co/rJflhLsu10 for your local detailed forecast pic.twitter.com/VhlecXZp24
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) April 18, 2019
Surf Life Saving Australia’s Steven Pearce warned there was an increased risk of strong rips along the NSW coastline – a danger that comes on the heels of one of the state’s worst summers for drownings.
“Our lifesavers will be out in force, and during the Easter period they do, on average, 300-500 rescues,” Mr Pearce said.
“Coupled with the elevated temperatures, we’re expecting a really busy period.”
“Lifesavers and lifeguards will be out in force this Easter and Anzac Day period but we need the public to also take responsibility for their own safety,” said Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce. Read our #SAFETYWARNING below 👇
— Surf Life Saving NSW (@slsnsw) April 17, 2019
There is the possible chance of a thunderstorm on Easter Monday.
Above-average temperatures are predicted for other parts of NSW, with major coastal centres Newcastle, Gosford and Wollongong in for days ranging from 23 to 27 degrees.
Rain is most likely in northern NSW in the next few days.
The mid-April heat is buoyed by a high that is hovering over the state. It is expected to drift out to the Tasman Sea by week’s end, bringing a trough that will mean some rain.
Melburnians would not be forgiven for whipping out their summer gear, as the city joins its northern neighbour to bathe in one last hint of summer.
The mercury is expected to hit a mild 22 degrees on Good Friday, undoubtedly prompting Melburnians to hit the beach, embrace the outdoors, or potentially catch a game of football.
The remainder of the long weekend follows a similar trajectory.
Sunrise in #Melbourne and the balloons were out just to the east of the City. A warm start is expected for the #Easter break but a shower or two is likely on Sunday and Monday. Check your latest Easter forecast at https://t.co/pLwrTzWvTo pic.twitter.com/gBnGq5TYq7
— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) April 17, 2019
Saturday’s peak of 28 degrees is followed by Sunday’s 25 – before the city returns to more traditional autumnal conditions on Monday, as a cool change sweeps into the state.
Up north, the major regional centre of Mildura will hit a searing high of 34 degrees on Saturday. Some relief might be found in Monday’s forecast of a sunny 24 degrees, with similar conditions expected further down the Murray in Wodonga.
Stawell, in Victoria’s west, will have clear skies overhead for Monday’s 138th running of the Stawell Gift. Entrants might need some additional layers to cope with the expected top of 19 degrees.
Handicaps for the 138th edition of the Stawell Gift Carnival are in! Check out where you, and your competition, are starting from in this year's carnival and who is favoured by some of our past winners.https://t.co/TLtmq9ap0q pic.twitter.com/CN99p6ZjGd
— #StawellGift (@Stawell_Gift) April 9, 2019
Queenslanders might want to consider bringing their Easter plans indoors, with a high chance of showers tipped for large swathes of the state.
Muggy conditions will hound Brisbane throughout the weekend, with showers and thunderstorms expected and temperatures of 26 and 27 degrees.
The typically sublime weather of the Gold Coast will also be missing, if the grim outlook is anything to go by – showers are expected, with temperatures almost identical to the state’s capital.
The Bureau of Meteorology says increasing swells in Queensland’s southern coastal waters from Friday might make swimming and surfing less attractive.
Heading to the beach this #Easter long weekend? ⚠️ Hazardous Surf Warning issued for #FraserIslandCoast #SunshineCoast and #GoldCoast from tomorrow. Easterly swell building through Friday and Saturday. Details: https://t.co/OMdtaM8cTZ @lifesavingqld #swimbetweentheflags pic.twitter.com/PWKdRC3r4O
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) April 18, 2019
Showers and windy conditions are also expected in parts of North Queensland, with little respite expected in Mackay.
But it’s more of a mixed bag in the Far North.
Cairns’ Easter outlook appears particularly damp, while a couple of hundred kilometres south, Townsville will relish in sublime sunny skies.
Elsewhere around the country
Adelaide will figure as the warmest of the capitals for the first two days of the long weekend, with a sizzling 31 degrees forecast for Friday, and a degree warmer on Saturday.
The mercury dips from Easter Sunday, with slight chance of rain and maximums of 21 degrees for the remainder of the weekend.
By comparison, Perth will commence the weekend under intense cloud cover and the likely chance of thunderstorms, gusty winds and hail – the temperature only nudging 16 degrees on Good Friday.
However, any good faith will be rewarded over Easter Sunday and Monday, with clear skies, low winds and mild temperatures of 22 and 23 degrees predicted.
Hobart and the nation’s capital will both enjoy relatively tame weather, and Darwin is predicted to sizzle through 33 and 34 degree heat.